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APD Releases Details of Recent Officer-Involved Shooting

 

APD Releases Details of Recent Officer-Involved Shooting

Friday, 10/1/2021

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque Police Department released details today of a recent officer-involved shooting.

 

Date of Incident: Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021

Location: 1105 Juan Tabo Blvd N.E.

 

Timeline:

8:00 a.m.                   Armed Robbery occurs in the area of Central Ave. and Western Skies Dr. S.E. as the victim exits a city bus and walks to his mother’s apartment nearby.

 

8:40 a.m.                   Robbery victim calls 911 after he and a friend locate the suspects walking along Juan Tabo Blvd. N.E. The caller states he was robbed about 25 minutes earlier at gunpoint.

 

8:41 a.m.                   Officer Mario Verbeck with the Foothills Area Command is dispatched to make contact with the victim.

 

8:45 a.m.                   Officer Verbeck arrives in the area and eventually meets with the victim in the parking lot of the NAPA Auto Parts, located at 1201 Juan Tabo Blvd N.E.

 

8:58 a.m.                   Robbery victim provides a description to Officer Verbeck of the two suspects who robbed him at gunpoint. The description is relayed to other responding officers.

 

9:16 a.m.                   Officer Verbeck reports that he spots two suspects matching the description of the robbery suspects in the area of Summer Ave. and Juan Tabo Blvd. They walk by businesses on Juan Tabo Blvd. N.E.

 

9:17 a.m.                   Officer Verbeck reports the suspects begin to walk southbound in the alley behind the businesses. He confirms they match the description of the armed offenders.

 

9:18 a.m.                   Officer James Eichel arrives in his vehicle as the suspects flee on foot down the narrow alley. One suspect continues to run southbound in the alley, while the other suspect stops and ambushes oncoming officers from a partially covered elevation drop. This allows the suspect to be in an advantageous position to fire upon approaching officers with little warning. As officers Verbeck and Eichel approach, an exchange of gunfire erupts between one of the suspect and both officers. Officers Eichel and Verbeck are both struck by gunfire, but they are able to return fire until the suspect eventually flees southbound. Both officers are critically injured. Investigators later recover 32 bullet casings that were fired from the gun the suspect was using.

 

9:19 a.m.                   The shooter flees southbound in the alley and into the parking lots behind Federico’s Restaurant and the Dutch Bros Coffee at 1105 Juan Tabo Blvd. N.E. Officers Harry Gunderson and Sgt. Sean Kenny confront the suspect in that parking lot and order him to surrender. An exchange of gunfire ensues, lasting several minutes.

 

The suspect eventually stops shooting after being shot several times. Officer Gunderson is struck by glass and shrapnel during the shooting, and Sgt. Kenny later learned he was struck with a bullet in his bullet-proof vest. Despite their injuries, Sgt. Kenny and other officers perform life-saving measures on the suspect.

 

Investigators later recover 37 bullet casings in the parking lot that were fired by the suspect, as well as one casing fired between the alley and the parking lot. In total, the suspect fired 70 rounds at officers.

 

UPDATES:

  • Officer Verbeck was struck at least two times by gunfire, in the arm and neck. He was transported to UNMH in life-threatening, critical condition. He continues to recover, being released from the hospital on Sept. 2.

 

  • Officer Eichel was shot one time in the left forearm and was transported in critical condition to UNMH. He continues to recover, being released from the hospital on Aug. 26.

 

  • Officer Gunderson was transported to the hospital where glass and metal shrapnel were removed from his eye. He was released from the hospital on Aug. 20.

 

  • Sean Kenny was shot in his bullet proof vest, but did not notice it until another officer noticed the defect in his uniform. He was transported to the hospital and released the same day.

 

  • After recovering in the hospital, Ramirez was booked into jail. He is currently in federal custody and faces federal charges.

 

Suspect: James Ramirez (7/1/1994)

 

Involved Officers:

  • Officer Mario Verbeck, who has been with the department since 2004, has been involved in two prior officer-involved shootings.
  • Officer James Eichel, who has been with the department since 2009, has been involved in one prior officer-involved shooting.
  • Officer Harry Gunderson, who has been with the department since 2004, has not been involved in any prior officer-involved shootings.
  • Sean Kenny, who has been with the department since 1999, has not been involved in any prior officer-involved shootings.

 

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